- Process improvements and waste reduction will save over 120 hours of Housing Officer (HO) time per month
- An improved access rate of 86% for property visits is expected to further increase capacity of the HOs.
Exeter City Council manages around 6000 properties, including social housing, leasehold and older persons properties. The Housing Directorate is split into two core areas – Asset Management and Housing Customers.
After a restructure, the Housing Customers team changed their delivery model – moving from a reactive to a proactive approach to tenancy management. The new approach meant that properties would be regularly visited and issues identified/actioned. However the visits and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) processes were not creating desired outcomes and the change of approach required processes to be redesigned, in order to deliver on these new requirements.
Staff were fire-fighting daily and there was a sense that a significant amount of their time was spent managing failure demand. The team had a lot of performance data, however this was not helping them to understand and resolve problems, or improve outcomes. Ad Esse worked with the team to apply Lean principles across these key areas of their operations, in order to improve productivity of staff and begin a culture change across the team.
The review was split into three key stages:
- Diagnostic – a number of Lean tools were used to identify the key issues. Some of the key problems identified were: reliance on spreadsheets to record work, limited data to understand failure demand and inconsistent ways of working
- Redesign – focused on improving the outcomes of these processes, by establishing a new suite of measures and reliable baselines, standardising process/templates and the removal of waste in the process. The new visits process moved towards a ‘pull’ system to plan and manage work, and what constitutes ASB was re-categorised
- Implementation – a combined plan was created to deliver the new process, benefits were baselined and an Information Centre set up to track and measure performance.
The review identified a number of benefits, including:
- A more consistent approach to managing ASB through the introduction of simplified ASB categories to record cases, a visible ASB tracker to monitor cases and a standard template to record actions and decisions
- A more streamlined approach to housing visits focussing on quality outcomes rather than number of visits, underpinned by criteria that prioritises ‘visits’ by risk and actions
- Mechanisms in place to improve the capacity of the Team Leader through a proactive approach to operations – an improved 1:1 structure, expectations exchange with staff and clarity on role and responsibilities.
“It is easy to identify the positive outcome provided by the work of Ad Esse just in the change of behaviours and attitudes of many of the team. There is much greater engagement and “buy in” to what the organisation and managers are trying to achieve.” Lawrence Blake, Service Lead Housing (Customers)